Posted by: Charles Maitland | Tuesday 2 February, 2010

BIDS Helper

Some time ago when I was more actively engaged in the BI space I was following the development by some very smart BI gurus of the BIDS Helper project.

Thanks to Vidas Matelis (@VidasM) I have re-discovered it and wow has it come a long way!

The only thing I wish it had, and which I was building till job changes shut the door, is a toolset for managing Users and their permissions. Maybe I can dig my old code out of the closet and resurrect it.



  1. Hi Charles,

    BIDSHelper developers just recently added roles report – but that is available in the version that you need to compile yourself. There is a note about that on the first page. It does not let you manage users, just report on roles/security.

  2. Hi Charles,

    As Vidas has said we do have a new Roles report coming in the next version. I would be interested to hear what your requirements would be around a Roles/Permissions toolset. I did have some ideas in the area and it would be interesting to see if our ideas are the same. Feel free to email me or to log a request on the BIDS Helper site.


    • Hi Darren

      Thanks for your post on the User Management reporting.

      My comments are related to way back when I was developing a SSAS solution in SSAS 2005 which had about 800 users and a very granular security model. (Not nice I know but) The security was based on the concept of restricting access to data based on a set of rules that were driven by cost centres. I.e. User A could only see their cost centre data, user B could see their cost centre and children of that cost centre and User C could see cost centre X and Y at the leaf level. Well something like that.

      The problem I encountered was that there was no simple admin interface that showed all the cube users and when one was selected show what their permission sets were. This seems to be the problem you are addressing in your report.

      The next issue was providing a suitable management application that could be deployed to super users that would allow them to add and control users and their permissions without exposing them to the full power and risk of the SQL management console. In this example the cube was built on finance data and would be controlled by the finance team. Now they were above your average users technical competency but it was far too risky and difficult to expose them to the full power of the management tools.

      I did write an application that achieved this and I had hopes that I could release it but it was blocked by my employer and not long after I left the company. Additionally it was written for SQL 2005 so is probably out of date by now!

      I did blog on it here

      If you think there is scope for exploring it further then I can probably find some screen shots in my archive and there may even be some code kicking around, however, I should also add that my coding skills were by this time rusty and it is written in old VB.NET so a complete re-write would be far more productive.

      Let me know if I can be of any help refining this.


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